(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN)
Cloverdale (7-11, 1-3 WCC) was led by senior point guard Amillia Nally, who assisted on seven of the team's 12 field goals.
"She's stepped up really big in these last three or four games," CHS coach Matthew Langdon said. "She's just really finding what it means to be a true point guard. She's the calming effect on the team. She's starting to learn when to attack and when not to attack.
"And that's great. There's going to be times when there's chances for those assists and there's times to dribble it out and pull it back and set it up."
North Putnam (4-13, 0-3) counted on the rebounding of senior Sam Lucas to keep it in the game. She finished with 11 boards.
Though neither team is dominant in both the perimeter and post, basketball comes down to matchups and the Clovers and Cougars present nightmares for one another.
Cloverdale's strength is in its guard play, where senior Nally, Paige Gruener and Bristy Skiles, along with sophomore Bailee Stevens, cause headaches with their aggressiveness and quickness.
North Putnam's forwards, seniors Lucas, Cayla Kientz and Cassie Aynes and freshman Taylor Nauert, have the size and aggressiveness the Cloverdale struggles with.
"It was physical both ways," NPHS coach Curtis Lawrence said. "Matthew (Langdon)'s kids did an outstanding job against us, just bodying our kids up and not letting us get those easy buckets on the inside."
The Cougars hung tough until halftime, trailing only by five (23-18) but the third quarter is where they've struggled all year.
"They held us for the first (ten) minutes of the second half to one point," Lawrence said. "If you go through a stretch like that, you're not going to win many ball games ... We had talked about, in the locker room (at halftime) coming out and trying to win the third quarter, and that seems to be the quarter we struggle with offensively."
The low-scoring third begat what was, by comparison, an explosive fourth.
Cloverdale's guards penetrated straight to the rim, drawing fouls and won the game at the line.
The Clovers made 10-of-14 from the charity stripe in the fourth, seizing the game.
The host Turkey Run on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Cloverdale is back in action Friday in a pivotal conference showdown at South Putnam at 6 p.m.
North Putnam 8 10 1 13 -- 32
Cloverdale 11 12 5 18 -- 46
North Putnam (4-13, 0-3): Wiatt 4-6 1-5 9, Asbell 2-14 3-4 8, Smith 1-6 2-2 5, Lucas 2-14 3-4 5, Kientz 1-1 0-1 2, Aynes 1-2 0-0 2, Nauert 0-3 0-0 0, Land 0-0 0-0 0.
Cloverdale (7-11, 1-3): Gruener 5-9 2-2 14, Shrum 3-5 2-2 8, Skiles 2-7 0-0 6, Clark 3-8 0-4 6, Stevens 1-1 3-6 5, Walters 1-1 2-2 4, Nally 1-8 1-2 3.
Team scoring (three-pointers)
NP 11-46 (1-6) 8-15 32, CL 12-40 (4-12) 10-15 46.
NP 25 (10), CL 31 (7).
NP 20, CL 15.